Grilled Vegetable Stacks

I love grilled vegetables, as long as I can cook it on the stovetop in the warmth of the kitchen, and not on the outdoor grill. The outside temperature has finally dropped to below freezing here in the New York area the first time this winter season. I have been thinking snow. I’m glad to see that winter is here and, hopefully, here to stay for a while. Nothing like the change of season to energize our body, spirit, and the menu. My skis are tuned. So is my grill.

Grilling vegetables, such as eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions, is something I do frequently. These are the vegetables that compose a classic ratatouille and they taste harmoniously together. Grilling at high temperature caramelizes the vegetables and brings out the sweet and natural attribute of each vegetable. Assembling the vegetables in a stack, as Ellie Krieger has suggested, seems like a smart idea for plating. She also gave detailed instructions on how thick the vegetables should be sliced and the order they should be plated. Not something I normally think much about. But if that adds to our enjoyment of the dish, why not.

I picked up red bell pepper in the store instead of the orange one called for in the recipe. I didn’t pay enough attention to details; lesson learned. Then it dawned on me why you’d need the orange pepper. For the color contrast. Brilliant! I compensated by using a yellow plate for a punch of yellow. Other changes I made were: sliced onion very thin, cut bell pepper lengthwise and zucchini in planks to get the charred effects I wanted. A splash of red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh basil chiffonade finished the stacked look.

The vegetable stack is beautiful, as it is irresistible, to ponder before cutting into it. The taste is complex, if you can get several kinds of vegetables in a single bite. I’d be stealing the idea to stack up the grilled vegetables as a plating alternative. Should a dish, any dish, look as good as it tastes? Perhaps I don’t think enough about plating design, since I believe taste is paramount. Some food for thoughts! Feel free to weigh in on this.

Please check out for more ideas from other home cooks at IHCC in celebration of the new year or the new season. Happy cooking and eating!

Eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, tomato and onion on a yellow plate
Red onion sliced thin, zucchini in long planks, pepper cut lengthwise

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Nammi
    January 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    oh yumm love the flavours!! they go well together!! not a big fan of grilling though

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 10, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Oh my…a beautiful array of colors on the plate! A feast for the eyes. I think you do a wonderful job plating your food. I can always tell you've put thought behind plating and arranging your meals. Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    January 11, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Grilled vegetables! I can eat a whole tray! 😀

  • Reply
    TeaLady
    January 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    THIS looks wonderful. I love grilled veggies and try to do it all year round. Not so easy in the winter, but the indoor grill pan helps.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    January 12, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Oh Wow, that is a delicious plate of veggies! I love grilled veggies though I do not make it as often as I would like to! How I wish for a change of weather over here. It has been nothing but hot and humid all year through!

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    January 13, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I definitely think we eat with our eyes and love a pretty dish (especially when you are tempting someone to eat some healthy vegetables or food). 😉 Of course taste is key and I have had some beautiful dishes that tasted like cardboard so a balance of looks and taste is key. Your dishes and posts always reflect that with the gorgeous pictures!

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